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A Slew of UGA Players Sitting Out 2020 Sugar Bowl

December 28, 2019

NEW ORLEANS - No. 5 Georgia will be without a slew of players for its upcoming clash with Baylor in the 2020 Sugar Bowl. 

On Friday, UGA coach Kirby Smart wouldn’t confirm to reporters which players will be sitting out the bowl game, but a few have already announced they won’t play. Offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson both already announced they will not participate in the game. 

Dawg Post has been told by two sources that senior captain J.R. Reed will not play in the game. 247Sports reported earlier in the month that starting offensive lineman Ben Cleveland will miss the game because of academic issues. Reserve offensive lineman DeMarcus Hayes is also not expected to play in the game because of academic issues. 

Dawg Post has also been told that reserve defensive lineman Justin Young is not expected to play in the game.

Running back Brian Herrien did not make the trip to New Orleans with the program. It is unclear if senior defensive lineman Tyler Clark made the trip to the bowl game. It is also unclear, according to insiders, if reserve defensive back Tyrique McGhee will play in the game. 

“We're going to focus on the players playing in the game,” Kirby said responded to questions about Herrien and Clark. Hayes, Cleveland, Young and Reed were not asked about. 

Meanwhile, Kirby said that James Cook, who was arrested earlier this month on misdemeanor drug charges, will play in the game. 

“James Cook is cleared to play. We don't discuss details, situations, like this publicly usually. But we thoroughly reviewed this situation. In compliance with our drug policy, we tested him immediately after he had an arrest. The test was negative. And James is cleared to play. It's that simple. Not proud of his behavior, but he suffered some discipline for what he did, and that's done. James is cleared to play, and that should be updated,” he said. 

Kirby added that he is optimistic that starting running back D’Andre Swift will play against Baylor. He has been bothered with a shoulder injury. 

“We're hopeful he's able to go at 100% for the game. (Swift) wants to play in the game. If he's able to go 100%, he'll be able to play,” he said. 

The coach has not opened a practice to reporters at UGA for weeks, but the College Football Playoff requires teams in the New Year’s Six Bowl group to have open practices leading up to those games. The Bulldogs are scheduled to practice Saturday afternoon.

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